Coordination of cell proliferation and cell expansion in the control of leaf size in Arabidopsis thaliana

J Plant Res. 2006 Jan;119(1):37-42. doi: 10.1007/s10265-005-0232-4. Epub 2005 Nov 12.


Size is an important parameter in the characterization of organ morphology and function. To understand the mechanisms that control leaf size, we previously isolated a number of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with altered leaf size. Because leaf morphogenesis depends on determinate cell proliferation, the size of a mature leaf is controlled by variation in cell size and number. Therefore, leaf-size mutants should be classified according to the effects of the mutations on the cell number and/or size. A group of mutants represented by angustifolia3/grf-interacting factor1 and aintegumenta exhibits an intriguing cellular phenotype termed compensation: when the leaf cell number is decreased due to the mutation, the leaf cell size increases, leading to compensation in leaf area. Several lines of genetic evidence suggest that compensation is probably not a result of the uncoupling of cell division from cell growth. Rather, the evidence suggests an organ-wide mechanism that coordinates cell proliferation with cell expansion during leaf development. Our results provide a key, novel concept that explains how leaf size is controlled at the organ level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Enlargement*
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development*